I drove this car in the US, which is where I think it belongs. It's big and brash, and every where you go the car is noticed. If bystanders don't see this thing roll up, then they're probably deaf, because most heads would already have turned due the beautifully inspiring sound of the engine.
The huge grill and wheels, coupled with the sleek side windows reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing shades in the Terminator films - it's got that same appeal. And the engine sound is better suited to its looks than Schwarzenegger's voice to his looks!
Performance was good, and the sound of the engine almost forces you to toy with its horsepower right through the mid-range to where it sits most comfortably (which is at about 100mph). Any other speed just doesn't seem to suit it, though through town it is actually suprisingly effortless.
I think this car will suprise most people. They say it's not a Mercedes or a BMW, but with the money you save, you'll have a few quid more to spend on the great activities you'll be happily delivered to in this car. And since British roads aren't exactly saturated with this model (unlike BMWs and Mercedes), I know which one I'd go for.
I have owned the 300C SRT8 for just over a month now. I also own a Panther J72 and a Cadillac Eldorado coupe.
My last car (which the SRT8 replaces) was an AMG C32. Past cars include a Lotus Esprit SE, Lotus Elan SE, several XJS models, including a tweaked TWR version, a Panther Kallista, a Renault Alpine Turbo V6 etc, and this SRT8 really performs well.
Its acceleration is superb, especially when considering the size, and even more impressive is the stopping power of the Brembo brakes. So far I have not come anywhere near the 176mph top end but, at speeds over 120mph, it is very stable and confidence-inspiring, and there's no problem braking at high speeds at all.
The interior is OK but nothing special - except perhaps the space - and I also like the suede inserts in the seats, I hope they wear OK long-term.
As fas as economics go, the engine in this model does not have the system that shuts down half of the cylinders when light throttle is applied, so fuel consumption is correspondingly less than the ordinary engine. However, at light throttle, on trips on the freeway I easily get 20mpg, with 22mpg coming up sometimes, and that on these small US gallons.
In normal driving, I have been getting around 18mpg but pushing hard it goes down to the low teens.
I have yet to carry out any servicing, so have no costs so far.
My car has the Bentley-look grille, which adds to the appeal of the car, also the 20-inch wheels give the car a lot of appeal.
I have recently had the pleasure of driving both the V6 and V8 versions of the 300C Tourer. They are both left-hand drive versions which are available here now. People are saying that they are not up to BMW or Mercedes, levels of quality. Mostly they are - not tacky, cheap or dull.
Just shut the doors or tailgate, what a lovely thud.
And crucialy, the price or the cost of options is not at BMW's or Mercedes' stupid levels either. The engines sound glorious, the interior is a lovely place to be, and so big I nearly lost my daughter!
On the road it makes you feel very special in a world dominated by big Mercs BMWs and Audis. Believe me it turns heads!
To hell with resale values - be different and enjoy driving and owning a car which looks fantastically different and can be had for the same price as a C-Class, 3 Series or A4, and not much more than a top notch rep-mobile!
Honestly, it's a beautiful car.
This is certainly a nice car, but my overall thought on it was, it's not quite a Mercedes!
It's a souped-up Vectra trying to be a Mercedes! I drove it in America and its beefy engine has plenty of power and torque but running costs over here would be expensive - but then again, if you can afford the car, you can afford to run it!
The interior was a bit of a let down, there are plenty of gizmos and comfort but, for a luxury car, it's a bit plasticky in places. From a distance, side on, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's an Avensis. It's a lovely car, but I'd still rather have a Merc or a BMW.
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